|ESRI Australia representative on fusion of technologies and geography|
One of the key aspects of this conference is about keep up-to-date with new mapping technologies. ESRI Australia, leading GIS software company, representative gave an interesting yet scary presentation on future technologies. His whole presentation ran from his iPhone (presentations going hi-tech nowadays). His main focus on how technologies related to movements, credit cards, customized business solutions and how GIS underpins the success of the industry. He was saying through tracking the websites we visit, shoppernova is able to customize the ads for you depending on where you are. In future, he said, automated cars with navigation devices will take person from home to work without the owner driving (well the technology exist). After dropping off the owner, the car could automatically can do a pick-up of other passengers for a fee (the owner will benefit). On top of that, the fridges of future will be automatically is able to tell you what food products is going to finish or expire soon. If you sync the credit card and barcodes of the food, the fridge can place order for you. The automatic car can drive to a warehouse and collect the food requested. Around 4.30 pm., the car is programmed to go to your workplace and get you back home. At night, the car will electrically charge for new next day.
On top of that, he was speaking of ESRI's new application (ESRI Collector) allows the user to collect and record of service request (dynamically). This app allows the council to track the service request quickly (e.g. broken tree branches, damaged kerbs) and plan out accordingly. The app allows you to collect the photos on site and capture the geospatial location. Over time, the council could notice the location of repeated requests whereby the council allocate resources effectively to deal with the matter
In an essence, his presentation's summary were that Business uses voluntary information from you to customize sales (this includes your location) and the map is enabler (no longer just a product).
Furthering on this situation, paradigm for geospatial professional as sole geospatial data collector has shifted. Now with mobile devices, everyone could be data collectors (crowdsourcing the data). However, the role of geospatial professionals is heightened to a new level. They will be analyzing, managing and storing the spatial data to the highest standards.
Since 2009, the usage of maps and navigation tools has doubled in Australia. In a study, it is stated that maps and navigation tools are the TOP feature used in mobile phones, followed by games in Australia. This empowers citizen cartography whereby everyone could collect data and capitalizing on free mapping software to produce map. A speaker, (Masters Student in RMIT) presented on the topic of citizen cartography. He listed out free mapping tools which citizen cartography depends on:
- ArcGIS Online
- GIS Cloud
- Map Centia
He spoke about some realities of cartography today: spatial data is available for free, volunteered geographic information (VGI) and an increased open source technologies (like free mapping or GIS software). This enables more people to produce maps anytime in history. However, the geospatial professionals, he stressed has still an edge in 21st century cartography (i.e. they have responsibility in managing the datasets).